Australia's National Training System

Australia’s national training system brings together students, employers, governments, and registered training organisations in the delivery of vocational education and training (VET).

The key roles of the national training system are to drive economic growth and address areas of skills needs. Through strong industry leadership, the national training system provides Australians with the skills needed to enter the workforce for the first time, to re-enter the workforce, to retrain for a new job, to upgrade skills for an existing job, and to learn throughout their lives.

The national training system includes both publicly and privately funded training providers. Training may take place in classrooms, in the workplace, off-the-job, online and through other flexible delivery methods. The VET sector provides training for Australians of all ages and backgrounds, for small and large businesses, across all industries and in many communities.

On 29 November 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development. The Agreement identifies the long term objectives of the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments in the areas of skills and workforce development.

The Agreement recognises that in order to develop the skills of the Australian people a national training system is needed. The national training system should be responsive to local needs and deliver high quality and nationally consistent training outcomes.

Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

The Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) is one of 12 Standing Councils reporting to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). SCOTESE has policy responsibility for the national training system as part of its overall responsibility for tertiary education, skills and employment.

As agreed by COAG, SCOTESE has policy responsibility for:

  • Higher education;
  • Vocational education and training, including skills and workforce development;
  • International education;
  • Adult and community education; and
  • Employment.

The purpose of SCOTESE is to ensure that Australia’s current and future workforce needs are met through increased participation, educational attainment, skills development and skills use to achieve greater productivity. Its members are ministers with responsibility for tertiary education, skills, and employment from Commonwealth, state and territory and New Zealand Governments.

On 17 September 2011, with the launch of SCOTESE, the remit of the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE) was withdrawn.

More information about SCOTESE can be found by visiting the SCOTESE website.

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